In long term relationships, foreplay becomes a kind of battleground. It’s a place where real and imagined wounds get re-opened. It’s a place where we decide how loveable we are based on how our partner treats us.
Foreplay is intended to bring a couple closer together. It is intended to get us “in the mood,” to create the intimacy necessary to feel really good during intercourse. Ideally, foreplay ends when you’re both so hot and bothered that if you don’t move forward, you’ll explode.
Is that how you experience it? Probably not, especially if you’re in a long term relationship; it’s probably more like an unwritten formula or code designed to get each partner just interested enough that they can get on with the main act. Possibly you experience attempts at foreplay as an annoyance, or possibly as the only fun part of the sexual experience.
You and your partner likely have a series of moves you make, based on past history of what you each may have liked at one time. Whether or not you still enjoy those moves has probably never been explored. Speaking for myself, formulaic moves are a disaster, because my body is fickle. What turns me on one day may be annoying the next. This is confusing at best to my partner in his desire to please me, but exploring that—by talking with words, mouth and hands—creates an opportunity for deeper intimacy.
Opening to intimacy requires a willingness to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable only feels safe when we have a strong sense of self. If our sense of self is reflected, it is dependent on what someone else says or thinks about us. In that case, we give over our power to another person and allow him or her to define us. When that happens, we are vulnerable all the time in a negative way. We don’t feel safe because we never know what our partner may do or say to knock us off balance.
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